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When Whiskey Meets Craft Beer

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 11/7/2017 Chelsea Davis

I’m not usually a fan of beer.

Creamy, sweet and smooth? These are three adjectives I have never used to describe a beer in my life. And yet, that’s what happened beer after beer—don't worry, they were tasting sizes!—while I imbibed at Jameson Love Thy Neighborhood Brewery Fest,

Unlike most drinking festivals, this is a first-of-its-kind craft beer and whiskey festival in support of New York Restoration Project.

Jameson celebrates local neighborhoods through live music, Jameson Caskmates and craft beers that are important to each brewery partner’s local community. New York Restoration Project seeks to improve New York City neighborhoods by collaborating with partners who strive to make the city a cleaner, greener and healthier city.

To show how much Jameson supports local neighborhoods, they decided to launch the Drinking Buddies program, where the brand provides selected craft brewers across the county with Jameson barrels to age their craft beer in.

The result? A limited-edition beer, only available in the local market, that offers the unique flavors of Jameson Irish Whiskey alongside the brew’s own particular craft beer flavors.

This program was inspired by Jameson Caskmates, an inimitable whiskey that was created in a collaboration with a local Irish craft brewery, where Jameson Original was aged in stout-seasoned barrels.

This year marks the Drinking Buddies program’s third year. To celebrate, The Jameson Love Thy Neighborhood Brewery Fest showcased 16 craft breweries, each of which play a central role in shaping the communities where they operate.

“Ageing beers in Jameson whiskey casks is a relatively new concept but a process which works amazingly well as it adds those unique Jameson flavors to the beer,” said Gary Feeney, Jameson Brand Ambassador. “The barrels that each brewery uses to age their beers are the normal American white oak used in the original Jameson maturation process and so impart those classic dried fruits and honey notes one can associate with Jameson whiskey.”

The difference between each brewer’s regular beer and the one that had been aged was shocking. I can honestly say I loved the creamy characteristics and velvety body the Jameson-ageing process gave to each brew I sampled.

My favorite? Cleveland, Fat Heads’ Coco Loco Leprechaun. The hint of coconut complimented the beer’s chocolatey flavor, and it had a fantastic smoothness that I’ve rarely experienced with other beers.

“They work well together because each beer that is aged in the Jameson casks is uniquely selected by the brewery based on their beer knowledge and which craft selection will pair best with Jameson’s unique flavor and create the most unique blend of flavors,” said Feeney.

The complete list of Jameson-aged beers and their descriptions can be found below. You can find them across the country at select breweries. For information on how each beer complements Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition and where to find them, click here.


Boston, Harpoon–Barrel-aged Harpoon IPA

(Our classic IPA–a crisp, balanced interpretation of the iconic style aged in Jameson Whiskey Barrels.

Chicago, Revolution–Jamo-nilla(Nitro Barrel-aged Imperial Stout)

Nitrogenation adds a silky mouthfeel, balancing sweetness from dark malts and whole vanilla beans. Four months of aging in Jameson Barrels provides a subtle barrel character that compliments its intricacies.

Cleveland, Fat Heads–Coco Loco Leprechaun (Imperial Coconut Stout)

Dark, sweet, boozy and roasty with a hint of smoke. The coconut softens the mouthfeel and body of this beer, compliments the chocolate and creates a super smooth finish by design.

DC, Heavy Seas–Heavy Seas Caskmates Loose Cannon (IPA)

Our flagship beer, Loose Cannon IPA, wins people over at first smell—its nose bursts with notes of grapefruit, mango, herbs and pine. Bitterness is somewhat subdued by the floral quality that pervades the taste.

Aging this beer in Jameson Irish Whiskey barrels has enhanced the creamy mouthfeel markedly. The whiskey treatment compliments the hop aromas with additional floral, spicy wood and sweet aromatics. The introduction of spicy, nutty and vanilla notes from the barrel aging gives this collaborative ale an additional dimension of complexity and depth of flavor.

Denver, Great Divide–The Smoothness (Dark Lager)

Rich, silky dark lager aged in Jameson Caskmates barrels, directly from Ireland. The Smoothness opens with a velvety mouthfeel and rounds out with roasted malt flavors and notes of vanilla and oak.

Minneapolis, Fulton–Whiskey, War & Peace (Barrel Aged Imperial Coffee Stout)

The quiet and harmonious intersection of bold, familiar flavors including dark chocolatey malt, dark roasted coffee and smooth Irish Whiskey.

MNY, Captain Lawrence–Transatlantic Red (Imperial Red Ale)

Aged 2 ½ months in Jameson barrels. 8.5 percent ABV, rich and malty with just a touch of hops. Hints of charred oak and Irish whiskey meld together with the caramel and roasted malts that give the beer its color and texture.

Nashville, Black Abbey–Lorica Special (Belgian Style Dubbel)

Malty and rich, this ruby-colored strong Belgian-style ale opens with whiskey, candy sugar and stone fruit. Warming across the pallet and dry in the finish, this beer is named for St. Patrick’s Prayer of Protection.

New Jersey, River Horse–River Horse Craic (Imperial Dry Irish Stout)

Our take on an Irish coffee: an Imperial Dry Irish Stout aged on vanilla and coffee beans.

NOLA, Parish–Parish Irish Coffee Stout (Imperial Coffee Stout)

Wave after wave of rich estate coffee aroma and flavor in harmony with the dark fruit and oak of a decadent barrel aged stout.

Philly, Sly Fox–O’Reilly’s Extra Stout (Export-style Stout)

A more robust version of our Dry-Irish Stout, O’Reilly’s Extra was brewed specifically for the Jameson Caskmates program. Roasted barley, flaked barley, and chocolate malt were used to create a beer that, when finished in Jameson barrels, is full bodied with a smooth mocha finish.

Unlike our standard version of O’Reilly’s, this beer is served on co2 to allow the whiskey notes to shine through.

San Diego, Green Flash–Golden God (Blonde Ale)

This beer is meant to both draw inspiration from and complement the unique flavors found in Jameson; earthy malts and a full mouthfeel are balanced by tart notes of green apple and sharp whiskey.

Jameson Love Thy Neighborhood Brewery Fest: PHOTO: Jameson Love Thy Neighborhood Brewery Fest. (photo by Chelsea Davis) © Travalliancemedia Owned Media (Staff Photo) PHOTO: Jameson Love Thy Neighborhood Brewery Fest. (photo by Chelsea Davis)

Seattle, Bale Breaker–The Ossifier (Barrel-Aged IPA)

Brewed in the center of hop field #41, this Imperial IPA went back to the fermenter for more hop additions after months of aging in Jameson whiskey barrels.

Tampa, Cigar City–Beoir Le Cafe (Brown Ale)

Gaelic for "beer with coffee,” this full-bodied brown ale boasts coffee beans that had been aged inside Jameson Irish Whiskey Barrels.

Vegas, Big Dogs–Man’s Best Friend (Belgian Dark Strong)

This specialty beer will pour reddish brown in color with a tannish dissipating head. Aromas of wood and barrel come through, along with caramel, dark fruit, banana, and bread. A well-balanced barrel aged beer with complimenting complex aromas and flavors.


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